Midlands TV legend Bob Warman bows out after 49 years presenting the news

It was the end of an era on Midlands television as newscaster Bob Warman said his final goodbye to viewers.

Bob's face was beamed on New Street Station
Bob's face was beamed on New Street Station

After 49 years presenting the news on ITV Bob bid farewell to viewers on his final Central News bulletin on Monday evening.

A galaxy of stars, from Ozzy Osbourne to Chris Tarrant, and Rustie Lee to Adil Ray recorded messages for Bob as did members of the public, recording in his home town of Walsall.

Walsall-born Bob revealed he was leaving Central News earlier this year and was even included in the Queen's Jubilee Honours List, getting an MBE for his services to journalism and charity work.

Bob Warman presenting ATV in the 1970s

The programme included clips from Bob down the years including his brief stint with Black Country icons Aynuk and Ali.

He said: "I have had a great love affair with the Black Country, its characters, its poetry and its habits. I love the place, I really do."

Signing off, Bob said: "I've been inundated with goodwill messages from people who have watched me, some of them all their lives.

"Viewers who have grown up with me from a young age and are now in their 50s and 60s, it is an extraordinary feeling - how do you repay such loyalty?

"All I can do is say thank you, and what a pleasure it has been to be in the corner of your living room all these years. You'll always be the finest audience in the finest region.

He added: "I will be now a viewer and watching the news instead of relating it. A big thank you to each and every one of you."

However, fellow presenter Sameena Ali-Khan had one last surprise for Bob with a classic "and finally" spot.

Instead of a cake the Central team, including weather man Des Coleman who wore a tuxedo for the occasion, had arranged for a massive message to be emblazoned on the side of New Street Station, Birmingham. It showed Bob with an ITV mug and the message "Bye Bye Bob - We'll Miss You."

As ever, Bob had an improvised wisecrack for his final link. And always the professional, the 75-year-old blamed the moistness in his eyes on hayfever, not the emotion of the endless amount of goodbyes from colleagues and viewers.

He said: "How amazing, it looks like I will be leaving from Platform 1."

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